Arson

The fire on Lafayette Road in Fort Oglethorpe was started using an accelerant on the stairs leading to a back door.

Authorities have arrested a 31-year-old Catoosa County man who, they believe, may be responsible for a string of arson fires in Catoosa and Walker counties.

Casey Ryan McCloud of School Street was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree arson in connection with two of the most recent suspicious fires in Catoosa County. He is a suspect in eight other deliberately-set fires in Catoosa and Walker counties.

The arrest came just one day after fire investigators asked for assistance in identifying the person seen on a security camera video setting fire to a building along Lafayette Road in Fort Oglethorpe at 12:16 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

The video showed a man wearing a hoodie walking toward the back of the building at the corner of Lafayette Road and Riddle Street.

The fire was started using an accelerant on the stairs leading to a back door and then spread upwards along the wall. In the video, the suspect is seen walking, then running from the scene toward Cross Street.

In recent weeks fires were deliberately set to several homes in the Lakeview community and in the Rossville community of Walker County. The fires were started in the overnight and pre-dawn hours using an accelerant from outside the buildings.

The Catoosa County Fire Department worked with Walker County Fire Rescue and the Georgia State Fire Marshal’s Investigations Unit. A reward of up to $10,000 was offered to anyone who could provide information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Two citizens recognized McCloud in the video and he was arrested Friday afternoon.

Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk said there could be more charges against McCloud, pending investigations into eight other fires.

McCloud was charged for the fire early Wednesday morning (Oct. 20) on Lafayette Road, plus a fire Thursday night (Oct. 21) at a Brookhaven Circle apartment complex.

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